Sunday, December 28, 2008

Legs and Feet In the Golf Swing

If you're like me and grew up playing golf in the 80's, you probably heard that the legs are not important in the golf swing. In fact, you've probably seen a video or watched an instructor back then hit a golf ball on their knees to "show" that the legs are not important in the golf swing. We now know that couldn't be further from the truth.

As Trevino stated he felt he "had a great pair of legs" that would allow his hips to rotate, get that thru pivot down and become one of the greatest ballstrikers ever. In fact, from reading Dave Pelz's 'Putting Bible' he talks about how he got interested in studying the game and charting shots of all of the players on tour by going to actual tour events, determining where the player was aiming and where they actually hit the ball and in Pelz's mind, Trevino was the greatest ballstriker he every charted. In fact, Pelz firmly believes that if Trevino was just a decent putter, he would've been better than Nicklaus.

One thing I've noticed about Trevino is that he loves to talk. Having watched him in person in tournaments and playing with golfers who don't even speak English, Trevino can still be caught talking to them and pretty much will talk to anybody who wants to listen. Lee likes to "hear himself talk" which isn't a bad thing at all (in fact, most of us like to hear ourselves talk). But I think I kind of figured out why.

For years everybody had been telling Trevino that he's doing it all wrong. His grip was wrong. He took it too far outside. He had his stance too far open, etc. All the meanwhile he was absolutely striping the ball, hitting green after green, fairway after fairway and was absolutely deadly with a wedge in his hand. But of course, modern instruction at the time...even as it varied over the years while Trevino's swing stayed the same...said that Trevino's technique was horrible and basically he hit the ball well because of his timing and hand and eye coordination. I don't believe Trevino ever really believed that was the case. I'm sure he felt his hand and eye coordination along with hard work had something to do with it, but I think he felt he was right or damn near close to being right.

So going through that FOR YEARS where you're absolutely striping the ball and people are telling you that YOU are doing it wrong (even though you could smoke them every day of the week and twice on Sunday) can make a person want to speak up and tell it like it really is.

Trevino loves to talk about the legs in the golf swing. Today's instruction is much better when it comes to talking about the legs and pivot in the golf swing, but I still get that feeling it's lacking and a guy like Trevino has had it down all along. It's the feet and legs that allow the pelvis to pivot and most instruction articles and books (except for 'The Secret Is In The Dirt' and 'Impact Zone' by Bobby Clampett and a few others) have forgotten this.

I came across the video by Shawn Clement. He has a bunch of excellent YouTube videos on instruction. Not to say I agree with everything, but I have seen his instruction work well with golfers and even myself. Here he does a nice job of explaining how the feet and legs work in the golf swing and WHY.